Italics When You Want Italics
—For Mary Ruefle
Next that luciferous scarecrow M— said:
Say what you mean & mean what you say; say what you
mean & mean what you say & I really think
she meant it. Then she called me one of her beloved
idiots. Because I retain
water but not information (I barely remember
being born), I take many notes.
Sometimes I’ll flip
through a book & stumble upon a word
& whatever skeleton of a seahorse
word it is, it becomes
the needed word: pluvial; ice jam; glossolalic.
It never fails. I try to open the jar of pickles
right after I moist-
urize my hands. O, she also said: You are trying so hard
to write poetry.
I like to picture things instantly.
A poem is a configuration of linguistic energy.
Having reached infiltration capacity,
the soil first turned to bed of mud
then splintered, quartz-like, into hoarfrost.
Here; here is a cage of
butterflies light slants through-through.
Flower Conroy is the author of the chapbooks Facts About Snakes & Hearts, The Awful Suicidal Swans, and Escape to Nowhere. Her poetry has appeared/is forthcoming in the American Literary Review, Prairie Schooner, Gargoyle and others. She is the current Poet Laureate of Key West.